dog fun facts Archives - K9 Contain My Dog skip to main content

Electric Dog Fence Training- Myth#2- Electric Dog Collar

Myth #2- The dog fence collar isn’t necessary after the dog learns not to leave the yard.

It may be in the hundreds for sure, but I really can’t tell you exactly how many times I hear this every year; Hidden Dog Fence Collar

Dog Fence Client;

 “I’ve heard that my dog won’t need to wear the special Electric Dog Fence Collar after he learns to obey the boundaries and has not left the yard for a period of time.”  Or, “If I haven’t seen my dog leave the yard then why does he still need to wear the Dog Fence Collar? He obviously knows the boundaries and won’t leave the yard. Right?”

 Well..Part of me can understand why people ask this.,After all why continue to have the dog wear something(the Electric Fence Collar) that isn’t needed most the time, right? Its true, that in my 20+ years of training dogs, and years of training dogs for the Hidden Electric Dog Fence there are some dogs, a very small percentage of dogs that won’t actively test the boundary. So understandably some dog owners think that if their dog hasn’t left the yard  the dog knows and will always knows the Hidden boundary. 

The Truth:

 Sure, a very small percentage of dogs won’t actively test the boundary by going across the street or charging out of the yard. This is not the behavior of most dogs. Most dogs,however, have a  ‘testing’ temperament we can equate to that of a young child. “No” means no for now… But later, well… That’s up for a new test. When the hidden dog fence is new and the flags are up in your yard the dog mom and dog dad can SEE  the boundary, can see when your dog goes too far. Ask yourself, Will you know if your dog goes just beyond their safe zone after the flags are removed and there is no visible line from the installation? NOPE, not if their containment collar is not on them to warn them.

So what’s the big deal if the dog goes too far but still doesn’t leave the yard regularly? Well, for starters the dog’s previous knowledge has now just been compromised. Now what he thought was the boundary line is no longer clear. He is now drawing the line himself as to how far he thinks he can go. The problem is by allowing this (not keeping the collar on, or not keeping it sufficiently snug) you have just confused the dog. THE line is no longer THE line, but rather an arbitrary or fuzzy area.

 What happens next?

Every year we get calls from dog owners who’s dog’s have been previously, successfully trained for the Hidden Dog Fence saying their dog is now afraid to go out much beyond the door, or the porch.With just a few questions its revealed that the collar (electric dog fence type collar) hasn’t been put on the dog in a while and was just recently put back on the dog. Now the dog is afraid to move about the yard. Why? Because the previous definitive boundary- the one with the containment system, was” replaced” by one without consequences (beep, corrective shock) and the dog figured that the previous ‘boundary’ or rule was no longer valid. That is until the fence collar was put back on and the dog has had a consequence for going where he could previously go -without consequence- now, once again with a consequence. So do you see how changing the rules- even inadvertently- is likely to be very confusing to the dog. If someone wanted to create neurosis… This might be the way.. By continually changing the rules..

The take away:

 Proper training is key to containment success. Then remain consistent for his sake; Keep the leash on him ever time he goes out side during the Electric Fence Training period. Keep the containment collar on him. Keep it snug so that it doesn’t rotate around this neck when he shakes his head. Finally keep it on every time he goes outside. 

The best way to ensure consistency is to develop a routine: put the collar on in the morning. Take it off when he’s in for the night. That’s it. Simple, consistent and fair to the dog.

Electric Dog Fence Training- Myth#1- The Shocking Truth

Have you heard the rumor?

The Electric Dog Fence is not fair to dogs because they will keep getting bad shocks for the rest of their life? I remember hearing this years ago and thinking “Wow.. Is that unfair!”.. Who would want their dog to get ‘bad’ shocks for life?   Electric Dog Fence Myth

Well like most rumors there is a small bit of truth and a big heaping of assumption in the statement. Let’s look at the reality of the way dogs learn and see for ourselves. Here’s a few questions first..

 Is the shock bad? Bad in what sense? Is it unpleasant? Yes, its unpleasant. Its supposed to be.If the shock correction was just annoying it wouldn’t be sufficient to consistently get the dogs attention and it wouldn’t be something the dog would work to avoid.

Consistently unpleasant things are things we (and dogs and other animals will work to avoid). This is the basis for learning to avoid the areas in the yard that cause the unpleasantness. That’s why a properly set up containment system has: a) a collar that emits a beep tone to warn the dog BEFORE delivering the shock, b) Flags PROPERLY set up in the yard that the dog learns to correlate or relate to the shock that comes after it crosses past the flagged area.

 So why are dogs sometimes freaked out when they first start training for the EDF?

Dogs (and people) are confused when they can’t relate a cause and an effect. For example there is nothing (at first) most dogs relate in their life experience to the unpleasant shock they receive when they pass the warning flags. Yes, there is a beep, yes there are flags but it takes some time and consistency so that the dog knows (learns) the relationship between the flags, the beep tone the collar makes and the correction shock the dog receives. In psychology this is known as paired associative learning. 

 The truth:

With consistent and proper training most dogs can learn the Underground or Hidden type fence within two to three weeks. Remember consistency is the key. 

Keys to consistency-

  1. Always be sure your dog has the containment collar on when outside
  2. Be sure the containment collar is working properly and is SNUG on his neck
  3. NEVER let the dog out without a leash during the initial training 
  4. Corrections-shocks- should be like seasonings on a meal. Use sparingly.  It’s most important that the dog learn that MOST of the yard is a perfectly safe place.
  5. NEVER allow the dog to get a correction if its fearful. 
  6. While training may sound easy its easier to confuse a dog. A trainer experience with containment training may be your best bet.
  7. Proper training is more than allowing your dog to ‘get a shock’ and hoping he’ll get it quickly.

Click Here to learn about Contain My Dog Contain & Train uses the Nine pillars of training as a behavioral and fair approach to training dogs to the Electric Dog Fence